Hans Holzer,
The Spirit Connection
(Schiffer, 2008)

When I first became interested in the paranormal, one of the earliest people I read was Hans Holzer, the "Ghost Hunter" -- his term -- who has now written over one hundred books, most of them on paranormal phenomenon. At the age of 88, he is, as this title shows, still on the job, exploring and explaining what he calls the Other Side.

Reading The Spirit Connection shows he has maintained his enthusiasm and his curiosity. A man of integrity, Holzer has not sold out to current fads; he deplores the TV ghost hunters who bring infrared cameras, sophisticated digital recorders and television crews along, maintaining that all you need is an open mind, some research and a spirit medium. He is exactly what he always was.

While it deserves to be respected, that staunch maintaining of his positions is both Holzer's strength and his weakness. He seems not to have kept up with the advances that quantum physics and string theory have brought to parapsychology, and he still describes a literal "other side" that is characterized by a hierarchy, a seven-level structure that progresses from an area resembling our own Earth to the seat of government (level six) -- level seven appears to be pure energy, the white light where the godhead resides. Ghosts, spirits and psychic occurances emanate from the other side in accordance with a strict set of rules that the level six government establishes and maintains.

Holzer continually states that his information has its basis in science, but his data are not firmly rooted in the scientific method. Although that might be a problem for some readers, it isn't for me; you can't logically expect things that contradict our currently accepted rules of reality to be able to be shoehorned into lab experiments easily.

Some readers, though, might be bothered by Holzer's casual attitude towards science and his certainty; he entertains no doubts whatever. Consider this passage:

Numbers are terribly important as the keys to the universe, and I decided to research the number of beings of light in the "circle" even further. In our solar system, we have nine bodies: Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Earth and Pluto. Was there a tenth being of light also? Is he the legendary Fallen Angel? Michael [a spirit contacted by a medium] is being questioned: Is he an angel? Michael hesitates before he answers, and then, reluctantly agrees he is.
Angelos means messenger in Greek.
"Beings of Light" or angels, these nine individuals are as high up as can be. Beyond them, pure energy, divine power? Nirvana?
The individuals have blended into a group, as well, on the sixth level.
Those are the facts.

I'd be a little more comfortable if he wrote that he believed those were the facts.

The current state of paranormal research is largely a question of dueling paradigms. What we assume becomes what we prove and what we accept as proof. If, for example, we believe that the "other world" is a tightly structured and layered thing, then all of our interpretations will originate from that belief and what we experience will be proof of it. Come at it from a different paradigm and you will get different results.

For more than 50 years, Holzer has been true to his paradigm, and if you would like to have a single, short, easy-to-read volume that sums up his major ideas, this book is it.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

12 April 2008

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new